Message Magazine’s Online Devotional for Tuesday, October 6, 2015
“The kingdom of heaven is like unto a certain king, which made a marriage for his son, And sent forth his servants to call them that were bidden to the wedding: and they would not come.” (Matthew 22:2–3).
We are continuing our survey of the judgment of God’s people to which we should be inviting those who don’t know Him. As we said yesterday in one of four major points, which you should feel free to reference in your spare time, only people who participated in the process of confessing and forsaking their sins were included in this blessing of judgment that would lead to cleansing.
We will continue to unpack this hidden blessing using Matthew 22:1-14 as a backdrop.
Jesus spoke a parable about a special wedding for a king’s son. The king told his servants to invite people to the wedding. He made certain that everything imaginable was prepared, so that all would have a wonderful experience. Imagine the king’s dismay when some he invited would not clear their schedules to show up, and others beat and killed his servants for inviting them. He instructed the remainder of his servants to execute swift justice.
Another invitation went out, and the same provisions for the enjoyment of the guests were made. This time, many people came and that made the king happy. When the king came in to see his guests, he saw one who was clearly out of place. “And he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless. Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. For many are called, but few are chosen.” (Matthew 22:12-14). One may reasonably infer from the text that since the king was so generous in providing so much for the wedding that he also provided the guests with appropriate clothing. This is why the king was so angry. How could someone accept the invitation, but rudely refuse to wear the appropriate clothing, when it was provided?
This is a picture of the gospel call, as well as the first of three phases of judgment we have referenced. Notice that the king was excited about inviting guests to spend special time with his son. Is the Lord happy to invite us into relationship with He and His Son Jesus? When the king came to see his guests, He was expecting to see appropriate attire. What better attire is there than the garments of Jesus’ righteousness to cover a multitude of sin (Isaiah 61:10; Philippians 3:9)? When He did not see the garment representing the righteousness of Christ, He did the only thing He could do. He ordered the condemnation be executed that the man brought upon himself.
Notice, that the only people the king saw at all were those who initially accepted the invitation. You will recall that some were too busy, preoccupied, or disrespectful to accept the invitation. This is the case today. The Bible says, “For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?” (1 Peter 4:17). Only those that have accepted Jesus Christ at any point in life appear in this special phase of judgment. In the parable, the only one specifically mentioned at the feast, was the man who did not have on the appropriate garment. Based on his punishment, this means that everyone else was safe because they had on the garment representing the righteousness of Christ. This judgment was never intended for condemnation, but God gives us the opportunity to choose whether we will continue in the faith, or take off the righteousness of Christ by returning to our own ways.
There is a heavenly survey of God’s people going on today. This is how He is able, at the Second Coming of Jesus Christ, to bring His reward with Him. He is revealing whether we are continuing in the faith, or have chosen another way. When He comes to your name, will you be found faithful? When His work is finished and the Book of Life is closed, He will finally come to take His people home. The Bible says, “And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.” (Revelation 22:12).
There is a lot more in the parable, but I decided to take my time and slowly peel back the layers as we continue to consider Revelation 14.
Be sure to check out tomorrow’s thought where we will consider the second point from yesterday. Are we handcuffed to God or locked into relationship with Him once we choose to serve Him, or does He still give us the power of choice until the sealing work of Revelation 7, 9, and 22 is complete?
A Prayer for Your Hearts:
Lord, thank you for giving us your righteousness. Please help us to accept it. In the name of Jesus I pray, amen.